I want a commercial! Where do I start?
The first question that arises when talking to a potential client is: how much does it cost to make a video? First of all, we recommend that you consider what kind of video you need and what function it should fulfil. The answer to this question will give us the components of a quote for the production of such a video. Once we have determined our expectations and goals, we can begin the process of pricing and selecting the appropriate form and technique of production. Goals can range from sales, to employer branding, to engaging instructional videos.
What does the cost of film production depend on?
In professional advertising production (and we are talking about high-budget production), there are no fixed amounts for particular types of commercials. Each project is priced from scratch, and it depends on: the concept, the commercial location, the number of filming days, the size of the crew, the number of actors involved in the production, the set design, the level of complexity of editing, post-production, colour grading, voice-over and many other components. Some production houses do not take on commissions below the amount of 25,000 USD/EUR because it is not lucrative for them. This is logical, because the time they have to spend organising the production and the in-house costs incurred do not give a margin that allows such a company to survive. The fact that a production budget may seem huge, e.g. at 100,000 USD/EUR does not at all mean that this is 50% of the agency's salary. Professional film production is simply expensive. The value of the equipment used during filming is usually worth millions of zloties, and the people who operate it must have the expertise to act quickly, professionally and not waste the client's time and money.
Stages of advertising production
A good commercial is not just about an expensive camera or a large film crew. It is first and foremost a good idea. This is the first and most important step in advertising production. Without a good idea, even the best equipment will not help achieve a quality message. For this, you also need a director and a very skilful copywriter. Then in order not to waste the idea, you need to dress it up in the right visual quality. And this is where the matching of means to concept begins. Not everything that looks good on paper always looks attractive on screen. This is why experienced people take reality and budget possibilities into account when creating a film concept, so that a super concept does not turn out to be a travesty of our advertising. So what if we imagine that the CEO of a company reaches the top of a mountain, if we do not have the budget to go with a team to the mountains.
It often happens that a client comes to us with their own idea and vision. Then we always adapt the concept to the actual reality, so that the main idea remains, the quality is preserved, but it fits into the budget.
The cost of a good advertising director on average varies from EUR/USD 2000 to even 10,000. It all depends on the product or service we are to advertise and whether the concept is to be for only film or the creation of a whole coherent advertising campaign.
Once we have accepted a good idea, we move on to budgeting. There are a lot of components to the budget that nobody outside the industry usually thinks about. ‘Big’ advertising industries are governed by their own rules and working conditions, so all components have to be taken care of in the estimated cost. Starting with the production manager and their assistant, as they take care of us and our production throughout the entire creation process, as well as catering for the film crew. It is important to remember that a filming day involves 11 hours of work! Any overtime the crew does should also be included in the cost estimate, especially when plans do not manage to fit into the standard working hours. A standard film crew consists of a production manager, director, cinematographer, editor, camera assistant, lighting master, lighting assistants, a sound operator and if necessary, make-up, stylist and set designers.
This is the basic make-up of a crew that can be found on the lowest budget assumptions. The cost of such a basic team usually oscillates around USD/EUR 15,000 for one day of shooting. Subsequently, depending on the type of shooting and the conditions found, the team is expanded by additional people. At each stage of production, the various production teams are involved. In a nutshell, the making of a commercial is divided into three stages: pre-production - where we agree all the details with the client; production - where we shoot; and finally editing and post-production.
In summary, it is impossible to quote a clear or specific price for the production of a commercial without a detailed brief and above all, without knowing the concept to be created. However, it is possible to try to average out the minimum cost of producing a simple quality commercial and in our experience, this is an amount starting at 20,000 USD/EUR .